Updated: Apr 29, 2021
You work and work on your website and when engagement stays low, you wonder – why isn’t this working? Why are people disappearing off my site after just a few clicks? What’s wrong with my website?
After a while of looking at the same thing, we can all get a little screen-blind. We don’t see what’s confusing about our website, because we know how it all works! That’s totally normal.
Here are a few things you can evaluate (even if you think they’re working well!) to see if there are places that can improve:
1. It’s not mobile-friendly.
I know, I know, you worked so hard on your website and all the colors and fonts look amazing, the photos are on-point, and the phrasing is spectacular! Mwah! And now I'm telling you to do it all over again in mobile view? What a nightmare.
It's not as bad as you think! You don’t have to start all the way over, but you definitely need to make sure your website is mobile-capable. Most people browse on their phones and your website needs to be just as beautiful on a cell phone as it is on a laptop.
Most website hosts have this built into their systems. Whenever you’re in edit mode, there should be a place where you can change the view to mobile or even tablet view. Once you’re there, make sure that the font isn’t too small or too large and the formatting hasn’t hidden any important information.
And, most of all, make sure that it is legible and beautiful!
2. The navigation is not clear and simple.
Think of your website as a house. Let’s say the main rooms in the house are the Living Room (home page), the Kitchen (services), Dining Room (About), and Study (FAQ).
When a client opens a door to a new room, they should still be able to move forward to other rooms. If you start leading them down blind hallways, you end up with two problems:
A) they don’t know how to navigate comfortably backwards without returning to the home screen
B) they end up at a very specific location they might need later, but since it’s only accessible through that very specific pathway, they may not be able to find it again or share it with anyone else.
This means they either email you angrily or (most likely) get frustrated, give up, and go find another company to work with. Navigation matters, and it needs to be clear, interconnected, and consistent so your customers feel like you’re guiding them from one brightly lit room to the next.
3. There are no call-to-action buttons.
We all want our customers to be fully informed, right? We want them to know exactly who we are, what we do, and what matters to us, so we write out paragraph after paragraph and add photos and graphics and freebies, but... nothing’s happening. Why isn’t anything happening?
It’s because we’re missing the call-to-action buttons!
These are the little buttons like Learn More, Let’s Get Started, Let’s Go, or I’m Ready! They come in many different forms and they like to hang out at the end of each section on your website.
The information on your homepage should be spaced out and simple so that people want more, not giant paragraphs where you’ve stuffed all the information in. When they reach the bottom of a section with information about your services, for example, there should be a call-to-action button leading them where you want them to go. If you want them to contact you, it should lead them to the contact page. If you want to give them more detailed information about the service, lead them to that page. But never leave them hanging (remember that cute house metaphor from number 2?) Leaving them without a call-to-action button is like showing them a door with no handle.
One rule of thumb for websites is that a Neanderthal should be able to navigate them (not that your customers are Neanderthals). But that’s the level of simplicity we’re going for. Keep things clear and simplified so your customers are never feeling lost or disoriented on your site.
Happy designing, everybody!